It is very hard for me to write about this part because of the strange joy I feel about it.
Just before Mama’s passing, I joined the American Tapestry Alliance, created a design and cartoon for my next tapestry, and talked to Pam about her tapestry retreats. At first I was inquiring about her ad in the ATA newsletter because I felt sure that there had to be a typo – how could this incredible opportunity be affordable? Weaving tapestry with other tapestry weavers in an Oregon cabin on a Pacific sea cliff?
I hardly had a chance to talk to Mama about it, but I mentioned how passionate I felt about going to live on the West Coast because I feel that I belong there. “What’s keeping you from going? Me?” she asked.
“Well, yeah,” I answered, in a tone that implied obviousness. Then I felt the awkwardness of the answer and made a joke, as I often did, about her outliving me. Seriously, I always thought that she might well live into her 100s. She had the toughness and the genes for it. I added that of course, also I am married and I have a job that I love, but yes, I would not want to leave her.
A few days later that conversation would haunt me for weeks when I heard from all sides that the widely held opinion that my mother had chosen her time to die. That she didn’t want to be a burden. That she had discussed many things with my sister concerning her final wishes that very week of our conversation, during what we now know was her last week with us.
I don’t think that my mother chose to die but I do think that she was willing to let go of her life once it became time. I hope that I will feel the same.
Now my life would turn toward looking at my future without her. Becoming an adult at age 53. Feeling no need to get her approval concerning my choices, which was always a problem between us. We are all very critical personalities in my family. I loved her, but her passing brought me a certain freedom that I can’t deny if I am to be honest about it. I was always caught in the stress of trying to please her and trying to please my soul. It was an impossible situation. I don’t have to justify my life to anyone but my Self now. Wow.
I still grieve, but life will always be different now. I feel that if my mother’s spirit is still watching, she would be pleased with me, mistakes and all. She finally understands.